You probably started training in your teens. Some years later, if you're among the best in the country, you qualify for the Olympic stage. There it's another monumental challenge as you face the world's best in preliminary rounds. If you're really good, and I mean REALLY good, you go 1-on-1 with the best of the best to challenge for a medal. All of this for a single Games. If you wish to return then rinse, wash, and repeat a four year rhythm of training your body day in and day out to inch closer and closer to gold.
Imagine doing all of this work, building your entire life around mastering a craft, and actually making the final. The climax of your career at the world's centre stage, and in the face of unimaginable pressure, when the gun goes off, you come in 4th....
Some will rightly remind you, after all, it was THE Olympics you achieved. But that's hardly a consolation for a world class athlete who trains to be 1st not 4th. Your entire life's focus--your identity--wrapped exclusively into your sport yielded nothing. Decades with a singular definition, and then one day, nothing.
Maybe it's not so dramatic, but it does beg the question, where do you derive your identity?
Ask yourself this question, ‘WHO AM I’?
There are a variety of places we may define our 'WHO'.
Your WHO can be defined by your work/career.
Your WHO can rely on the affirmation of others.
Your WHO can be defined by a partner or children.
Your WHO can be your creations or busyness.
None of these are wrong, but the trouble is, they are all fleeting. They disappear, will never be enough, or at some point will disappoint us. They all fall well short of gold.
However, a 'WHO' rooted at its core in Jesus has a depth and steadfastness we can not only latch on to, but trust completely and eternally. This trust doesn't come easily. We continuously struggle with the promises we find so hard to accept. Yet thankfully, gracefully, it need not be this way.
“And the Lord is now calling me...affirming me, enabling me, encouraging me, challenging me all the way into fullness of faith, hope, and love in the power of His Holy Spirit. Ignorant, weak, sinful person that I am, with easy rationalizations for my sinful behaviour, I am being told anew in the unmistakable language of love, I'm with you. I am for you. I am in you.” Brennan Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel, pg 174.
Visit Rohadi's blog and take a look at his recent publication, a Christian adult coloring book.